Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. Dec 12, 2012
    90
    This is a bold, honest and carefree collection that, rather than announcing Kozelek's frustrated retirement, seems set to point to new and exciting musical adventures.
  2. May 30, 2012
    84
    Sun Kil Moon's Mark Kozelek revels in the succulent melancholy of sad autumn evenings in the backseat, garlanded with the shadow words of life's heaviness, clearly woven by a master of spiritual spelunking.
  3. Aug 8, 2012
    80
    The sense of isolation, longing and homesickness are palpable. But he's also wry and darkly funny, self-referential, and self-deprecating too. [Sep 2012, p.95]
  4. A hitherto only-hinted-at humour (try "UK Blues") punctuates this hypnotic and haunting glimpse into an imperial isolation.
  5. Jul 2, 2012
    80
    Among The leaves is entirely consistent with the rest of Kozelek's fine catalogue. [Aug 2012, p.63]
  6. May 29, 2012
    80
    Among the Leaves is notable for the bitterness and resignation of Kozelek's lyrics; for the first time, Kozelek's erratic and standoffish personality onstage shines through on record.
  7. Jul 16, 2012
    75
    It's not his best record by any stretch of the imagination, but it's one I'll reach for more casually and consistently than his recent stuff.
  8. May 29, 2012
    75
    It's on these darker songs that Kozelek's fresh urgency provides a needed spark to his familiar sorrow.
  9. Aug 29, 2012
    70
    This type of rough-spun music isn't for everyone, but Among the Leaves is a valuable effort regardless of its pockmarks and dogged minimalism. Enjoy at your own risk.
  10. Jun 1, 2012
    70
    Kozelek manages to sublimate his pain into a grandiose yet good-humored catharsis throughout the uniformly superb Among the Leaves.
  11. 70
    With 17 tracks, Kozelek proves that he in fact can write a song under the five-minute mark, can be bright and bereaved in equal measure, and can even have a little fun doing this whole music thing.
  12. May 29, 2012
    70
    So its songs aren't exactly of the hum-along variety. No matter. There's no denying Sun Kil Moon's luminous glow.
  13. May 29, 2012
    70
    Sprawling but consistently clean and light, Among the Leaves is sprightlier than much of Kozelek's previous work.
  14. Jun 1, 2012
    68
    You get the impression he isn't really trying that hard, that bettering his bests isn't a notion that interests him, 20 years after the release of Red House Painters' debut album. He's the kind of talented songwriter that can mostly pull that off; though for a record so spare and simple, Among the Leaves comes off as strangely confrontational.
  15. May 29, 2012
    63
    Kozelek's guitar playing is predictably tremendous, what with all those incessant triads and nervous arpeggios. But at 17(!) tracks, many of them floundering for melody and meaning, this is the first SKM release to spin its wheels.
  16. May 30, 2012
    61
    All the sullen lyricism dulls any chance of frisky spark. This does not make it a bad album, but it was a bit of a disappointment.
  17. Aug 20, 2012
    60
    Kozelek swerves self-indulgence by writing with an arid humour. [Sep 2012, p.112]
  18. 60
    However bleak, there's no denying the delicate mood created by [Kozelek's] charm.
  19. Jun 1, 2012
    60
    The best parts of Among the Leaves show Kozelek stepping out from behind the blurry, echoing melancholy of his sound and showing us his humor, his insight, his knack for storytelling. There's enough of that to make this record solid, but the sad fact is that Mark Kozelek is also trying to put walls up between us and him through too much of this 73-minute record, and the truth is he succeeds there too, to his own detriment.
  20. May 29, 2012
    60
    Among the Leaves may not be the most captivating way to spend 70 minutes, but it's a valuable effort nonetheless, a deeply felt record of one man's never-ending struggle with himself.
  21. May 29, 2012
    60
    At 17 tracks/diary entries, some of which feel like cast-offs from previous sessions, it feels a little bit indulgent, but maybe, considering the subject matter, that was the intention after all.
  22. Ultimately what this record lacks is any sense of audacity or ambition.
User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 7 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Apr 10, 2013
    8
    Just simple acoustic guitar songs. Lyrics are great, lots of cool little stories to be found in this album. He's one of the best songwritersJust simple acoustic guitar songs. Lyrics are great, lots of cool little stories to be found in this album. He's one of the best songwriters active today. Full Review »